scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Baden Powell Patrol Award
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Sat Mar 13 1993 - 14:54:34 CST
Tom Kennedy wrote and asked about one of my pet peeves:
>One of the presentations was the Baden Powell Patrol Award. I looked up the
>requirements and one of the requirements is "Wear the uniform correctly".
>As a commissioner and a strong believer in proper uniforming by adults and
>youth, it saddened me to see this award being presented in a troop that
>does not wear the uniform correctly.
Me too, Tom...I was present at a Court of Honor whereby the Patrol received
the National Honor Patrol Award (what it was called before the BP Patrol
Award...same requirements, new name) for the SECOND time. Big, baggy pants,
shirts without shoulder loops, untucked shirts and untied shoes. And the
ENTIRE Patrol came up to get their second star....good thing that the
Scoutmaster didn't explain what the requirements were to get the Award!!
>Being the courteous person that I am, I bit my tongue, and tried to
>think of the best way to handle the situation. And then it hit me, ask the
>group. So here it is, What should I do?
You have TWO responsibilities, Tom.
First, as a Scouter, you and I have the responsibility to set the example.
There's very little that we can do to confront the Troop, the Scoutmaster or
even the Patrol Leader and say "Hey bud, you guys didn't earn this....you
shouldn't wear it until you LOOK like Scouts!" Well, we CAN do those
things, Tom, but the fallout will be more negative than what we're trying to
do by promoting the award. So, we set the positive example, and hope that
the Troop and especially this Patrol "catches the clue" and by the second or
third time they qualify, that they have a Patrol that actually MEETS or
EXCEEDS the requirements.
Second, as your District's Commissioner, you should have your Commissioner
team to go out and conduct some inspections, and offer some advice on
wearing the uniform as completely as possible. That's what Commissioners
do, ya know, and if the Scoutmaster hasn't heard it from a Commissioner that
"the standard for earning the BP Patrol Star is high...it's supposed to
be...and let's see if we can raise the bar a bit!", then he or she will go
right on approving it.
There's going to be a lot of "but they're doing their best" comments. I can
hear them now from some Scouters....that's fine. If all they can do is wear
jeans with the shirt, let's have the shirt tucked into the pants as if the
pants ACTUALLY WAS a part of the official uniform. Same with the
shoes...while it's a "fashion statement" of sorts to have the shoes untied
and the strings flopping all over the place, if we're talking UNIFORM, then
either ALL patrol members wear their shoes that way or all of patrol members
TIE THEIR SHOES. If all the Patrol can muster is what they can do, then by
all means, make what they have NEAT, CONSISTANT AND PRESENTABLE.
They ARE doing their best when they show wearing at least part of our
uniform. They should be wearing the complete deal...but there's a few
factors which may prevent that. The BP Patrol Star is supposed to recognize
Patrols that have banded together and made the Patrol Method work. This
means that the Patrol acts as a group and that peer pressure is exerted by
the group to conform all members to ONE STANDARD. If that "standard" for
the time being is that we wear blue jeans with Scout shirts, the Troop's
neckerchief and street shoes, then all parts of that "uniform" should be
neat, presentable, and all members of that Patrol should be wearing the same
You should not as District Commissioner and we should not as Scouters
"settle" for "whatever they show up in" as the uniform of the Scout. The
uniform of the Scout is a special uniform. It carries with it a lot of
tradition, a lot of pride (if worn correctly) and a lot of honor. But
that's the GOAL. There's a lot of steps to get to that goal...but whatever
those steps are, taken individually or as a unit, should be neat in
presentation, should be consistant by all members and the ADULTS of the unit
should take the lead by setting the example for the youth by wearing the
complete BSA field uniform (as complete as they can do so as well).
"Doing ones best" does not equate to "settling for less".
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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